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Business Roundup

October 24, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 41


BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller has been named president of the European Chemical Industry Council. He succeeds Versalis CEO Daniele Ferrari, who held the post since October 2018.

Nova Chemicals has agreed to sell its expandable polystyrene resin business to Mexico’s Alpek for an undisclosed sum. The sale includes plants in Monaca, Pennsylvania, and Painesville, Ohio.

Covestro says it has received 1,000 metric tons of renewable phenol from the chemical maker Borealis, which made the phenol with biobased hydrocarbons from Neste. Covestro will use the aromatic chemical to make polycarbonate.

Futerro, part of the Belgian firm Galactic, has opened what it calls China’s first polylactic acid plant, in the city of Bengbu. Raw material lactic acid will come from a new nearby facility.

Wacker Chemie will spend more than $50 million to build a new North American headquarters and innovation center in Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan. Employees will move from the current base in Adrian, Michigan, when the facility opens in 2022.

Indigo Agriculture, a purveyor of microbe-coated seeds, says it has its first customers for third-party-verified agricultural carbon credits. Firms including Boston Consulting, Barclays, and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will pay $20 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalents sequestered in soil in the 2020 growing season.

Bayer’s investment arm, Leaps by Bayer, is giving $17 million in series B funding to Azitra, a Connecticut-based company specializing in the skin microbiome. The companies are collaborating on treatments for skin diseases using proprietary strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Ori Biotech has received $30 million in series A funding to bring its cell- and gene-therapy manufacturing platform to market. The automated platform can increase throughput and quality while lowering costs associated with the treatments, Ori says.

ImmunoGen and Hangzhou Zhongmei Huadong Pharmaceutical will develop ImmunoGen’s antibody-drug conjugate mirvetuximab soravtansine, a treatment for ovarian and other cancers, for the greater China market. The deal is worth up to $305 million for ImmunoGen.



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